A group of volunteers in the South Shuswap are trying to fill the transportation gap for residents of the area.
The South Shuswap Transportation Society has applied for grants in hopes of purchasing an electric car so they can provide rides by-donation to those in need.
The society had a $25,000 grant in aid approved by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to help fund the purchase of the car; the regional district will be deciding whether to help them access more money at their Thursday, Aug. 15 meeting.
The transportation society is requesting the CSRD’s help in drafting a rural dividend fund grant application totalling as much as $50,800 to go towards the purchase of a car if it is approved.
At the Aug. 15 meeting, the CSRD will also be deciding whether to use $52,500 from the Electoral Area C Community Works Fund for the purchase and installation of an electric vehicle charging station to be set up in Sorrento.
A letter to the CSRD from Barbara Fairclough, the transportation society’s secretary, states the charging station is to be installed at Sorrento Tirecraft. She said the tire shop has been very supportive of what they are doing.
Fairclough said the society is taking a page out of the Sicamous-based Eagle Valley Transportation Society’s playbook by trying to set up a service where volunteer drivers help those in need of transportation. She said many people in the community are seeing a transportation gap, particularly seniors, who sometimes require help getting to medical appointments in Kelowna or Kamloops.
According to Fairclough, a committee is being set up to look into the electric vehicle options which will be available to the society. She said range which can be travelled is the primary attribute the committee will be considering in trying to find the electric vehicle which will best suit the society’s riders. Fairclough added that once funding is obtained and the society can get up and running with an electric car, additions such as a wheelchair accessible van will be considered.
She said the society is not up and running yet and is still focused on gathering information and planning, its members hope to be able to provide affordable transportation soon.
Those seeking more information, or who are interested in volunteering with the society once it is up and running, can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.